The Terrific 12

Terrific 12: Ryukyu Golden Kings outshine Guangzhou Long Lions in tight final in Macau

Chinese Basketball Association side fail to pull off another miracle in Macau Studio City as Ryuichi Kishimoto leads Japanese B League team to title

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 23 September, 2018, 9:26pm
UPDATED : Monday, 24 September, 2018, 12:44pm

There is a new name on the Terrific 12 trophy after the Ryukyu Golden Kings triumphed in the preseason tournament’s final in Macau on Sunday night.

Guangzhou Long Lions had masterminded a 26-point turnaround in their semi-final over Seoul Samsung Thunders but failed to repeat the feat against the Japanese B League team in Sunday’s final.

There were only three points in the game with two minutes left but it finished 85-76 to the Kings and it was they that celebrated to the strains of Queen’s We are the Champions at the buzzer.

Terrific 12: Seoul Samsung Thunders down ex-teammate Markeith Cummings and Nagoya Dolphins to finish third in Macau

The South China side had triumphed on this court in the Summer Super 8 but could not make it two Asia League tournaments in a row.

Asia League CEO Matt Beyer handed out the medals before the trophy was passed to Kings captain Ryuichi Kishimoto but by then the fans who had packed the arena for both of Sunday’s games had largely left.

They missed the confetti cannons showering the team on the red carpet laid out on court.

MVP honours went to Kishimoto for a string of clutch threes in the final quarter.

“I was just playing without thinking, playing on feeling,” he said, before adding that “the team won the game”.

Guangzhou head coach Juan Antonio Orenga was positive despite the loss, taking what they came for.

“Experience for players, minutes to play, minutes together, that’s it. It’s a presesason tournament and we had a great preseason.”

He said that it was a good advert for the game in Asia.

“Koreans, Japanese, all the leagues in Asia are improving. Good coaches, good players. We need to have them.”

It was a standard of basketball that will prepare them for the CBA season ahead.

“We wanted to come here and play four games against good teams. We did that. We lost the final with a good team.

“I don’t want to come anywhere and win all the games by 20 points. We want to fight every game. This is perfect for us. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. We need it.”